Mainframe interview questions give a potential employer an idea of an applicant's knowledge regarding the operation, programming, maintenance, and testing of a mainframe computer system. A mainframe is an oversized digital computer that can serve hundreds of users and tackle computations on a large scale. Because of its unique characteristics, mainframes require specialized personnel to oversee their proper operation. Commonly asked mainframe interview questions will ensure a prospective employee has a thorough understanding of both mainframe basics and, depending on the job, more advanced knowledge of the system. Jobs in this field include mainframe operators, mainframe systems analysts, mainframe software developers, mainframe testers, and quality assurance specialists.
When preparing for a job interview in the field of mainframe operation, an applicant should first consider all aspects of the position. An employer will want to see if the candidate possesses the necessary familiarity with the many complex facets of mainframe computers. The mainframe interview questions will likely include queries regarding languages like COBOL and JCL. The interviewer may also ask about and test an applicant's knowledge of the mainframe transaction server CICS, the IBM mainframe disk file storage access method, and the data server DB2. In addition to defining these terms, the candidate will commonly be asked to explain how they work and how they fit in to the overall operation of the mainframe.
Specific mainframe interview questions might include: "What are the divisions in the COBOL program?", "How do you properly sort files in the COBOL program?", "What is a DD statement in JCL?", and "What is a SOC4 error in JCL?". Further questions may inquire about the proper table set-up for a CICS, the different types of VSAM files, and identification of the aggregate functions of DB2. The applicant's interview answers to these questions allow a job seeker to expound on his or her comprehension of the system and present his or her skill set to the employer.
Another set of frequently asked mainframe interview questions will revolve around troubleshooting. The interviewee may be prompted to explain the remedies for such situations as an 805 error, how to effectively eliminate duplicate files, or how to properly fix errors in a mainframe's Security Operation Center (SOC). These types of IT job interview questions give a prospective employer an accurate picture of how well an applicant will be able to handle the many intricate problems that may arise from working with mainframe computers.